Plano Learns: Color Theory

To test out how your brain (not just your eyes) sees color, let’s do an experiment with an afterimage optical illusion!

An object does not have inherent color, instead its surface reflects some colors and absorbs others. Therefore, when you see a color, you are seeing what is reflected. Seeing color is dependent on how your brain perceives it.

Outreach Librarian Diana, also quite the artist, has taught Color Theory at the library – so she put together an instructional video:

See our Color Theory handout for instructions and the supply list for this project.


Additional Resources

Below are other resources relating to color and color theory. If you need a library card to access these resources, we will note it in the description.

Color Theory from Salem Press Encyclopedia

Salem Press Encyclopedia is accessible through EBSCO, which requires a library card. This article is a research starter with bibliography


Color Theory and Color and Light

Kanopy *need library card

From The Great Courses “How to Draw”, delve into color theory, beginning with the organization of primary and secondary colors on the color wheel.


How Do We See Color? from Pantone

An introduction to color and the human eye from the makers of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, an innovative tool allowing for the faithful selection, articulation and reproduction of consistent, accurate color anywhere in the world.


The Science of Color from Smithsonian Libraries

Explore a variety of resources about Newton’s Rainbow, ROYGBIV, Goethe’s Theory of Color and more

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